2016 ~ { Boho Vanity }

November 25, 2016

When it comes time to begin sorting out my holiday shopping lists, I tend to inevitably become overwhelmed with the little or lackluster ideas that come to mind when I ponder on gift giving. Luckily for me (and I'm sure many other uninspired givers), I thought of the awesome website that is UncommonGoods, a quality quirky online shop that sells the coolest collection of one-of-a-kind inventory. To top it off, their integrity as a company is based off of new-age sustainable practices such as featuring small business and locally-grown artists, promoting the most environmentally and socially conscious products they find, and many more honorable fair trade features that I love and support with all my heart.

I love to scroll through both of their specially curated gift ideas for men and women, and this year I found so many awesome treasures to add to my own wishlist too. At the top of my list has to be the Diana Instant Camera, the Deep Sea sand art piece (I haven't seen one of those contraptions since I was a kid!), and the Natural Beauty Skincare deck.

I personally believe that one of the best parts of their business is how affordable a majority of the gifts are. There is truly somewhere there for everyone, and so you can check off your to-buy list in no time without feeling any dread or stress. Check out their humongous selection of holiday gifts here and get a head start before the seasonal rush.

Happy shopping!

October 14, 2016

Achieve your goals in silence.

Stay busy watering your own grass, and planting your garden with seeds that are soulfully enriching.
— Awakened Vibrations

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.
— Graham Greene

I keep thinking about that tribe of baboons where all the alpha males died from eating poison garbage and then the baby boy monkeys were taken care of by the lady monkeys and never got socialized to be aggressive so they all just live peacefully and groom each other instead of fighting and killing each other and its been generations of that, it only took one wipe out of the aggressive males to change the whole social order of the species, I am crying they must be so much happier.
— sparrf

Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it'll always get you the right ones.
— John Lennon

You ruin your life by tolerating it. At the end of the day you should be excited to be alive. When you settle for anything less than what you innately desire, you destroy the possibility that lives inside of you, and in that way you cheat both yourself and the world of your potential. The next Michelangelo could be sitting behind a Macbook right now writing an invoice for paperclips, because it pays the bills, or because it is comfortable, or because he can tolerate it. Do not let this happen to you. Do not ruin your life this way. Life and work, and life and love, are not irrespective of each other. They are intrinsically linked. We have to strive to do extraordinary work, we have to strive to find extraordinary love. Only then will we tap into an extraordinarily blissful life.
— Bianca Sparacino

September 03, 2016

Rainy, damp days
Cold-brewed coffee with raw honey
Diving into poetry again
Kindhearted nurses
Quotes that hit home
Seeking solitude
Ordering used books
A golden birthday
Iris on Netflix
The return of Crystal Pepsi
Lindt Dark Chocolate Pineapple Bar
Wet n Wild Bare It All Lip Color layered on NYX Pumpkin Pie Lipstick
Bath and Body Works Watermelon Lemonade Body Mist
Gel manicures with big flecks of glitter
Late night Twitch watching with MonotoneTim
The Revenant
Sylvia Plath
Claude Monet

August 19, 2016

This longing, too large for Heaven and Earth, fits easily in my heart.
— Rumi

I will bring you flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
— Pablo Neruda

For three weeks the earth would paint herself in every color, burst every bud, unfurl each rioting petal. Then, the wild flush of her excitement spent, she would settle herself down to the steady work of summer.
— Madeline Miller

Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.
— Pema Chodron

People grow when they are loved. If you want to help others heal, love them without an agenda.
— Anonymous

August 12, 2016

They are rare and few, but the occasional day off is something you simply have to take advantage of. With this said, there are a number of ways you can enjoy those days, whether alone, with friends, or with family. These are a few ways to make the most out of those days you don't have to go into the office for work.

Go Outdoors

Spend a day having a picnic with the family. Plan a hiking trip or mini getaway retreat in the backyard. Go to the beach and grill and make s'mores with the kids. Being outside rejuvenates you, and allows you to really soak up the great weather, namely now that summer has arrived. If you would like some more information on picnic baskets and destinations then take a look at lovepicnics.co.uk.

Have a "You Day"

Do you love getting a manicure and pedicure? Need a massage? Love the spa? Or, are you an avid athlete who loves working out? Make sure you find things you love, and take the time to make that day for you. Not only can you unwind doing a few of these things, you can also take the much needed rest and relaxation away from the stress, grind, and take time for yourself, since you are always putting everyone else ahead of you. 


Even if it is a short trip up the coast, getaway for a few days (or day). Go to a fun summer destination in your local area. Find places you have always wanted to visit, and take the day to go there. It is not only freeing and liberating, it allows you to get away from the monotonous day in day out grind you have gotten used to as well. 

A day off may be a rare occasion for most. With this said, these are some of the things you can do to make the most of that day (or days) if you can take them.

August 05, 2016

As hot August days heat up mid Michigan, I have narrowed down a small curated collection of skincare products that have been my go-to warm weather picks for the last couple of months.

I ordered the Vanity Planet Spin for Perfect Skin Brush after a couple of different YouTubers talk about how much they liked it in comparison to the ever so expensive Clarisonic. I was also inspired to check it out by a Mode story I wrote on the favorite facial products of estheticians; realizing how much I missed using a rotary brush in my skin care routine. This brush in particular is a great bang for your buck as the $30 price tag gets you four different brush heads and the battery-operated base. I use it about twice a week to smooth out small bumps or rough texture on my skin that look and feel more diminished after just a few passes around the face. I have noticed that pressing too hard will stall the rotation of the brush, but if anything the mechanic is a reminder to be more gentle and light-handed.

During especially hot days when I feel as though my skin is dried out or in need of some quick moisture, I spritz on the Coast to Coast Ultra Soothing Aqua Mist. It contains Tasmanian sea kelp, wild rosella, geranium, and organic lavender water for a soothing, almost breezy, cooling effect. After a generous douse, my face feels instantly hydrated and looks ultra dewy until my skin soaks it all up, leaving behind a soft and toned texture. I imagine this bottle would be perfect for bringing to the beach or anywhere else where bare skin could use a burst of refreshment.

The Mario Badescu Super Collagen Mask has surely become one of my most adored nourishing masks of all time. Made with kaolin clay and oatmeal, the pure ingredients work to tighten the skin while simultaneously calming any irritation or mild bumps. I love how soft and supple my skin looks after rinsing it all off, and its moisturizing properties seem to last for days after.

Another Mario Badescu favorite, the Strawberry Face Scrub is an ultra gentle exfoliant with real scrubby strawberry seeds and a base of renewing AHAs. It works to unclog pores and improve texture without causing harsh irritation or redness on the skin. I currently use it as an alternate exfoliating treatment to the skin brush about once every few weeks.

The Vita Liberata Passionflower and Argan Dry Oil SPF 50 works to repair damaged skin on the face or body and nourish it with essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E. The initially slick texture absorbs well into the skin leaving behind a gorgeous radiant glow that protects for a good couple of hours in the blazing sun. It doesn't have the lasting power of traditional cream-based sunscreen; however, it is perfect for someone with a fair complexion, like myself, who will need to reapply often anyhow.

One of my favorite tropical fruits and now summer body products is the Papaya Body Lotion by Mario Badescu. I lather it on a few dollops after the shower to soften my skin with AHAs, shea butter, and rice bran oil. It leaves behind an almost powdery finish with an invigorating scent that lingers into the next day.

July 27, 2016

With summer here, there are certain essentials every woman (and man) should have on hand for a day or night out on the town. From a day at the beach, to a summer wedding, to visiting family or going out with friends for brunch, there are many items which can make or break any outfit. These are a few of the top summer fashion essentials to have on hand, for any event, fancy, formal, or casual you plan on attending this summer season. 

The Shoes

Gladiator sandals are a staple. But, so are the thong style, slip on, boat shoes, and of course a loafer or short heel. The right shoes will make or break any outfit, so make sure you have a few pairs on hand, for any event you plan on attending.

The Slip

A slip dress is another must have. It is sexy, sleek, and can easily be dressed up or down. Further, you can go with a longer or knee length variety, depending on the event, and the type of crowd you are around.

The Jewelry and Accessories

Dangling earrings, studs, the right flashy necklace, and of course the right sunglasses are needed for a day at the beach, or a night out on the town for an event you are going to be attending. Whether you select something simple, or go with ornate detail, the right accent pieces will make any outfit you plan on wearing stand out during the day, or night.

When summer arrives, there are simply certain items you must have on hand, to be worn at any event, a day out, or night out on the town. If you are interested in any of the products there are loads of summer fashion credit catalogs available to have a look through and find that perfect piece of clothing you are looking for. These are a few top summer fashion essentials to maintain on hand, which will work for anything you have planned, and any crowd or group of people you plan on being around.

July 21, 2016

Returning home to New England
Seafood dinners
Surprise parties
Printing photographs
iRie Radio
Driving an old Subaru
Supporting loved ones
Early mornings and afternoon naps
Everything bagels
Baby plant orders
Goodwill treasures
Drink Marley
Making air plant terrariums
Recovering from tonsillitis
Desk makeovers
Abundant text conversations
Best lemon blueberry bread recipe
Daydreaming of the Caribbean
Good fortune
Vintage Etsy decor

June 29, 2016

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting. Not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come.
William Wordsworth

We are pieces of ancient Earth, bits of sacred story soaked in intellect and dirt.
Oak Chezar

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief, and unspeakable love.

You will burn and you will burn out; you will be healed and come back again.
Fyodor Dostoevsky

And from then on, I bathed in the Poem of the Sea, star-infused, and opalescent, devouring green azures.
Arthur Rimbaud

June 24, 2016

Washi Tape Collection

Washi Tape Collection
Washi Tape Collection

Keeping a personal paper planner has influenced me to buy lots different washi tapes to decorate with. All of these rolls I own came from different shops on Etsy, both U.S. based and international. They are typically very cheap and can be used for a variety of crafts and projects, hence my seemingly excessive collection.

June 16, 2016

The Buddhists say if you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, your knees go weak, that's not the one. When you meet your 'soulmate' you'll feel calm. No anxiety, no agitation.
Monika Drake

Sometimes you meet someone, and it's so clear that the two of you on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another or you're in love or you're partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don't know if that makes me believe in coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something.

When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time. You'd be shocked at how many adults are really dead inside - walking through their days with no idea who they are.
Laurie Halse Anderson

And I still wonder, how someone can feel so lonely while loving and being loved.

When somebody provokes your anger, the only reason you get angry is because you're holding on to how you think something is supposed to be. You're denying how it is. Then you see it's the expectations of your own mind that are creating your own hell. When you get frustrated because something isn't the way you thought it would be, examine the way you thought, not just the thing that frustrates you. You'll see that a lot of your emotional suffering is created by your models of how you think the universe should be and your inability to allow it to be as it is.
Ram Dass

May 31, 2016

Peaceful Sundays
Forest green
Tocca Cleopatra Eau de Parfum
2016 Goop Detox
Planting new baby succulents and flowers
Fresh coats of paint
A new Game of Thrones season
Micromink blankets
Making summer plans
Wild flowers in the yard
Trying Checkers for the first time
Browsing dream engagement rings
Bouts of motivation
Spring cleaning
Homemade frappuccinos
Korean stickers
Short poems
Bob Marley Pandora station

May 18, 2016

Johnson's Baby Cologne

Baby products are just so appealing with their adorable packaging and light, soothing fragrances. The same can be said for the Johnson's Baby Cologne, which looks utterly cute sitting on the bathroom shelf. I have been a fan of the Johnson's baby line for as long as I can remember, and to this day their Bedtime and Original lotion scents are still some of my all-time favorites.

Described as a blend of floral and citrus, the Baby Cologne has a mild scent that is clean and typical of a bath product targeted for babies. The water and castor oil blend absorbs well into the skin and leaves behind a soft, almost powdery feeling with a hint of fresh scent that lasts a few hours. I will use a splash on my body throughout the day or just after bathing for some added fragrance in place of heavy lotions and perfume, especially in the hot summer months.

April 29, 2016

1. Push yourself to get up before the rest of the world - start with 7 a.m., then 6 a.m., then 5:30 a.m. Go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.

2. Push yourself to fall asleep earlier - start with 11 p.m., then 10 p.m., then 9 p.m. Wake up in the morning feeling re-energized and comfortable.

3. Erase processed food from your diet. Start with no lollies, chips, biscuits, then erase pasta, rice, cereal, then bread. Use the rule that if a child couldn't identify what was in it, you don't eat it.

4. Get into the habit of cooking yourself a beautiful breakfast. Fry tomatoes and mushrooms in real butter and garlic, fry an egg, slice up a fresh avocado and squirt way too much lemon on it. Sit and eat it and do nothing else.

5. Stretch. Start by reaching for the sky as hard as you can, then trying to touch your toes. Roll your head. Stretch your fingers. Stretch everything.

6. Buy a one-liter water bottle. Start with pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then try drinking it twice.

7. Buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful black pen. Write down everything you do, including dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffees, what you need to do that day. No detail is too small.

8. Strip your bed of your sheets and empty your underwear drawer into the washing machine. Put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. Make your bed in full.

9. Organize your room. Fold all your clothes (and bag what you don't want), clean your mirror, your laptop, vacuum the floor. Light a beautiful candle.

10. Have a luxurious shower with your favorite music playing. Wash your hair, scrub your body, brush your teeth, lather your whole body in moisturizer, get familiar with the part between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck.

11. Push yourself to go for a walk. Take your headphones, go to the beach and walk. Smile at strangers walking the other way and be surprised how many smile back. Bring your dog and observe the dog's behavior. Realize you can learn from your dog.

12. Message old friends with personal jokes. Reminisce. Suggest a catch up soon, even if you don't follow through. Push yourself to follow through.

13. Think long and hard about what interests you. Crime? Sex? Boarding school? Long-forgotten romance etiquette? Find a book about it and read it. There is a book about literally everything.

14. Become the person you would ideally fall in love with. Let cars merge into your lane when driving. Pay double for parking tickets and leave a second one in the machine. Stick your tongue out at babies. 

15. Compliment people on their cute clothes. Challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day. Then two. Then a week. Walk with a straight posture. Look people in the eye. Ask people about their story. Talk to acquaintances so they become friends.

16. Lie in the sunshine. Daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn't a thing. Open your eyes. Take small steps to make it happen for you.

 Emma Elsworthy

April 22, 2016

When I think of spring makeup, visions of bright peaches, baby pinks, and lots of pastel hues come to mind. I find that even as the weather begins to finally warm up I am still in love with either a simple moisturized lip or the trendy ruddy rose color that I wore all winter long.

For that effortless deep nude lip, I love the somewhat new Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor which has a silky texture that dries down to a pillowy velvet matte type of finish. It doesn't feel drying and lasts a good while before beginning to fade and needing a quick touch up.

For a slightly different mood, Flower Beauty's Bare-ly There is similar in color but more saturated with a warm tan undertone. Although it is technically a lip butter, it feels more like a hydrating lipstick as the color is so opaque and smooth. It wears well, and even though it is considered a drugstore lip product I would say it is quite comparable to MAC in terms of its quality and buttery texture.

As for plain lip products, the Soft & Lush by Blistex is a creamy lip balm that instantly moisturizes, conditions, and, my favorite part, smells just like a French vanilla cake. This tube came with me on my trip to the Caribbean since it has a comfortable SPF 15, and lately it has been my absolute favorite chapstick to keep on hand.

Lastly, Blossom's Coconut roll-on gloss is more of a cute, nostalgic decor piece I keep on my vanity, but nonetheless an overall good, basic shiny gloss that smells like summer. It reminds me of the cheap scented glosses that I would collect when I was young, which is another reason why I enjoy keeping it on display.

April 08, 2016

To think in flowers
Until honey seeps
From my pores. I am finding
I have become
My own sweetness.
— Jamie Oliveira

I like canceled plans. And empty bookstores. I like rainy days and thunderstorms. And quiet coffee shops. I like messy beds and over-worn pajamas. Most of all, I like the small joys that a simple life brings.
— Unknown

When a flower doesn't bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.
— ociz

It's always so meaningful when someone interprets you accurately, or says a spark of a phrase, a half-a-sentence, that resonates with you so intimately that it feels like they've dipped a finger in a lake of you and made a ripple that goes on and on and on.
— commovente

It doesn't matter if it's a relationship, a lifestyle, or a job. If it doesn't make you happy let it go.
— William Chapman

April 01, 2016

As a part of their Enrich Not Exploit campaign, The Body Shop is offering limited edition, artist curated packaging on their classic Hemp Hand Protector that includes automatic free shipping with your total order. For every one purchased, the company will be donating $2.20 to the top voted humane cause of your choice: the planet, people and animals, or the ocean.

This hand cream has been so useful lately as bouts of heavy duty spring cleaning have left my hands super dried out and cracking. The texture is very thick and creamy, and it melts well into the skin without an unpleasant oily residue. I found that the natural hemp and other ingredients fulfilled their claims as my hands were not only left looking completely hydrated, but also feeling baby soft. In terms of moisturization, it definitely beats any feminine fragranced lotion I slather on to try and condition my skin back to normal. It does have a mild earthy scent that lingers, which I like, but I'm not sure it would appeal to everyone. I also love how the tube is such a generous size that will last a very long while even with constant use.

If you're interested in trying out the hand cream and supporting the campaign, you can purchase it here and receive free shipping on your total order.

March 25, 2016

Crystal Quartz in Rain

I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks of full roses under my cypresses.
— Friedrich Nietzsche

I love the rain. I love how it softens the outlines of things. The world becomes softly blurred, and I feel like I melt right into it.
— Hanamoto Hagumi

Soulmates are people who are created in pairs but get separated in the human evolution.
 Stephanie Noblet Miranda

I was pretending that I did not speak their language; on the moon we spoke a soft, liquid tongue, and sang in the straight, looking down on the dead dried world.
— Shirley Jackson

An old alchemist gave the following consolation to one of his disciples: No matter how isolated you are and how lonely you feel, if you do your work truly and conscientiously, unknown friends will come and seek you.
— Carl Gustav Jung

Do you think the universe fights for souls to be together? Some things are too strange and strong to be coincidences.
— alurely

March 15, 2016

Air Plant Bath

Nurturing an air plant can be a peaceful, low-maintenance pastime with just basic knowledge and a few tips needed to help the plants flourish. Depending on the specific type of plant and their native climates, each one may have variant degrees of requirements that should be individually researched for optimal care.

Native to the forests, mountains, and deserts of Central and South America, the southern United States, and the West Indies.
Classified as epiphytes, meaning they are able to grow without soil while attached to other plants.
Optimum temperature for most species is around 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
One plant can yield up to a dozen offsets, known as pups.

Submerge plants in water for a couple of hours or spray heavily with a mister bottle about once a week, more often in hot, dry weather.
Use spring, filtered or rain water to ensure purity.
Focus on hydrating the leaves and avoid overwatering the roots.
Soak in the morning, if possible.
Allow plants to thoroughly dry before returning to their homes.

Ensure proper air flow as no soil needed.
Use a diluted fertilizer once per month to encourage pups and blooms.

Provide bright, filtered natural light or full spectrum artificial light.
Some species like direct sunlight in the winter months.
Most prefer warmth and humidity.

Gently remove or trim dead leaves to keep the plant healthy.
Pluck the pups after they grow at least 1/3 the size of the mother plant.
Dried out, brown tips may indicate a need for more watering.
Soggy leaves that easily fall off may indicate too much water.

Read more in depth tips here and here.

February 19, 2016

Sephora Favorites Discovery Collection Perfume Sampler ReviewSephora Favorites Discovery Collection Perfume Sampler Review

Nest Fragrances Indigo
Tocca Cleopatra
Clean Warm Cotton
Atelier Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolute Pure Perfume
Tokyo Milk Tainted Love

With the new year now in full swing, it felt like a good time to try out some brand new baby perfumes. To my online shopping benefit, there are endless amounts of fragrance samplers to chose from on the Sephora website, whether it be a brand specific selection or a curated scent experience. I ultimately went with the fair-priced Discovery Collection ($34) as I have never tried any of the included scents before, and the eclectic theme seemed appealing to me in some way. Each one is a typical deluxe sample size with about 0.17 to 0.24 ounces in each mini bottle. For essentially $6.80 each, the ounce per dollar ratio is definitely in your favor when compared to the full sized versions, which went as high as $70 per ounce. The set includes four dabbers and one roller ball; perfect for travel or carrying around in a hand bag. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the scents as there seems to be a balanced variety of notes between the so very different profiles. They all portray a more mature, yet obscure vibe, especially in comparison to the typical sweet floral scents I usually wear. Despite this, they are all wonderful in their own manner. I will say that Cleopatra and Indigo do seem to be my most-worn favorites thus far. The best part? I can use the adorable little vials as decor when they run dry.

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